Schuman Lecture: Europe’s Pursuit of Peace, on 9 May

This year, the annual Schuman lecture will examine a number of deep-rooted reasons why, in the face of all odds and failures, political leaders in Europe have been trying to achieve a peaceful unification of the continent, and why this pursuit is a never-ending process. The lecture will be delivered by Prof. Stella Ghervas, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Harvard University, in the Lecture Hall, Tongersestraat 53, on Tuesday 9 May, 20.00. Free entrance.

Since the Roman Empire, no political entity has ever survived in Europe on such a large scale and for as long as the European Union. Yet it seems today that the EU is teetering on the brink of self-destruction. Now is therefore the time to urgently reconsider a founding principle that has sustained the European construction to date and which might make or break it in the future: Peace.

In fact, it is possible to trace a genealogy of concerted attempts at pacification of the European continent even before the Congress of Vienna (1815); attempts that continued undeterred with the League of Nations after the devastations of World War I, and were pursued after World War II and the Cold War.

The Speaker

Stella Ghervas is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an Associate of the Department of History at Harvard University. She is currently also the Mihaychuk Fellow 2016-2017 at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. Among her many publications are Réinventer la tradition: Alexandre Stourdza et l’Europe de la Sainte-Alliance (2008), which was awarded the Prix Guizot of the Académie Française, and Lieux d’Europe: Mythes et limites, ed. (2008). Her new book Conquering Peace: From the Enlightenment to the European Union is forthcoming from Harvard University Press. She is now working on a transnational history of the Black Sea Region from the Russian expansion in the eighteenth century to the present day and co-editing a volume on the cultural history of peace in the Enlightenment.

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